Friday, June 3, 2011

Objectivity to Christianity.

Something I wrote elsewhere about using the Outsider Test of Faith:

Mostly I'm pointing it out because it of the Outsider Test of Faith. I'm currently reading the Christian Delusion which is everything critics claimed the God delusion should be. A scholarly work that deals with the nuances of Christian faith by experts in their fields. It's the best thing I've read. (yes the sentence ended there). -- But, it is a really good set of points that certainty is an emotion and that humans are well primed toward biases. We emotionally react to threatened beliefs, when we should let them rise or fall on their merits. And as children we believe whatever we're told. So simply telling children there is a God suffices to make them believers who defend the faith. But, it holds equally true for any faith. Especially in light of this we must, necessarily, strive to examine religion objectively. Because if you are a God who is intent on burning people forever in hell for failing to believe, you really should make your chosen religion able to be believed objectively. Such that you don't already have to be that religion, to believe that religion. That you could be compelled away from your current faith to the correct faith reliably by something. But, if we honestly look at the evidence and we can't find one religion that consistently wins (except perhaps Secular Humanism or Scientific/Naturalist Pantheism). If we try to use any metric objectively, we consistently find that every religion is true (which means the metric doesn't work) or we find that none of them are. This ultimately is a very serious problem for religion.

If what you use to believe your religion can be used to believe any religion, then you are necessarily treating your religion differently than you treat other people's religions, and since we can all agree other religions are false religions. Then what you are using to believe your religion can be used to believe false religions. -- It's a pretty critical problem for religion, but it's also a fairly new set of arguments so I might as well give them a whirl. After all, the logic is pretty inescapable, your religion should be different if it's right, so we should determine a way to figure this out. We have reliable methods for determining truth, and they determine your religion is false. We can use unreliable methods for determining truth, but they determine that all religions are true. -- And it's not really gotcha logic. Maybe there is a method of consistently determining truth, and only Christianity passes. As such, we would then be right to convert to Christianity. But, at a minimum we must look at religions the same way those not of that religion view them, and doing so reveals the same obvious flaws that are so apparent to everybody else. Asking one to accept talking reptiles, and talking donkeys, magical trees and worldwide floods is bad enough when you have your personal feelings of certainty to rely on, but when you need to do so objectively? It's laughable. If somebody-else's religion had those, Christians would point and laugh on a daily basis. -- So asking for objectivity, is actually rather damning to the faith.


solid-state said...

objectivity implies observation. it is not enough to critique the definition of "religion" and thus think that you have arrived at some objective assessment of Christianity or any other religion. to make an objective statement regarding Christianity you will need to look more closely at the subject matter. further more, religion has its effect in human existence, human history, human endeavors, if one wishes to be objective and fair in ones conclusions, ones inquires must be manifold and informed. and not merely and exercise in presupposed conclusion. and in the contentious realm of human opinion, objectivity requires not only disciplined observation, but an honest assessment of ones self.

Tatarize said...

I am actually well versed with regard to Christianity.

And you the problem presented is an epistemic one. It isn't simply that I'm ignorant of Christianity, it is that Christianity does not offer any reason why I should accept it that cannot equally apply to every other religion too.

Considering human cognitive biases allow that people will defend any beliefs they have and that as children they will believe anything they are told. We are left with a world where propagation of *any* belief regardless how true or false it may be only requires the indoctrination of children, then we must be especially careful to check why something should be true. And any religion actually true, should be significantly better than all the false ones to counteract the problem that any religion regardless how bizarre or false can propagate.

Tatarize said...

Also, it doesn't matter if something has had effects on human existence, history, or endeavors. After all, slavery still has effects on human existence, geopolitics, demographics, human history, and endeavors as such, and one wouldn't advocate that we learn more on the matter before coming to a conclusion against it.